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Press Releases - County Council

Council to receive an update on COVID-19 vaccinations, vote on $31.4 million in federal aid for rental and utility assistance and hold a public hearing and receive a briefing on the Shady Grove Sector Plan Minor Master Plan Amendment on Feb 23

For Immediate Release: Monday, February 22, 2021

Also on Feb. 23: Council is scheduled to introduce the Shovel Our Sidewalks Act and vote on a resolution reaffirming the County's commitment to combat hate and extremism and Zoning Text Amendment 20-01, Solar Collection System

The Council will meet virtually on Tuesday, Feb. 23 at 9 a.m. and will begin with two proclamation presentations. The first proclamation recognizes the Montgomery County Board of Elections and its staff members and will be presented by Councilmember Craig Rice. The second proclamation, presented by Councilmember Sidney Katz and County Executive Marc Elrich, marks Teen Dating Violence Prevention Month.

Council staff reports and additional information on items scheduled for Council review can be viewed at: http://www.montgomerycountymd.gov/COUNCIL/ondemand/index.html.
The Council meeting schedule may change from time to time. The current Council agendas can be viewed at: http://www.montgomerycountymd.gov/COUNCIL/ondemand/index.html.

On the guidance of Health Officer and Chief of Public Health Services Dr. Travis Gayles, there is currently no public access to the Council Office Building. The virtual Council meeting will be streamed live on the Council’s web page via YouTube and on Facebook Live and can be watched on County Cable Montgomery on Xfinity/RCN 6 HD 996/1056 and Fios 30.

Council Agenda Items

Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) Update
At 9:35 a.m. the Council will sit as the Board of Health to receive an update on the County’s ongoing response to the COVID-19 pandemic and its recovery and vaccination efforts. The Council will be joined by Dr. Travis Gayles, County health officer and chief of the Department of Health and Human Services’ (DHHS) Public Health Services; Dr. Earl Stoddard, director, Office of Emergency management and Homeland Security; and Dr. Raymond Crowel, director, DHHS. Montgomery County is dependent on the State of Maryland for their supply of the COVID-19 vaccines. County leaders continue to advocate for additional vaccine doses for residents as well as for a mass vaccination site located in Montgomery County.

The Council staff report can be viewed here.

Special Appropriation to the County Government’s FY21 Operating Budget, Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) - $31,405,652 for rental and utility assistance
At 1:30 p.m. the Council will receive public testimony and is scheduled to vote on a $31,405,652 special appropriation, which will assist residents who have faced a loss of income due to the pandemic, and who are in need of assistance in paying rent and utilities. This funding would be made available through a U.S. Treasury grant. The federal government is requiring that households earning 50 percent or less of the area median income and those who have been unemployed for more than 90 days be prioritized for assistance. The Department of Health and Human Services will administer this new federal aid. 

The Council staff report can be viewed here.

#PreventEviction is being used for this bill on social media.

Shady Grove Sector Plan Minor Master Plan Amendment
The Council will receive a briefing on the Planning Board Draft of the Shady Grove Sector Plan Minor Master Plan Amendment. The Plan makes recommendations for land use and zoning within the area, as well as recommendations intended to improve overall circulation, pedestrian connections, and the network of bikeways for approximately 2,000 acres. The Council will hold a public hearing on the draft plan in the afternoon.

Those expected to provide information at the meeting include: Casey Anderson, chair, Montgomery County Planning Board; Gwen Wright, director, Montgomery Planning Department; Carrie Sanders, Mid-County division chief, Montgomery Planning Department; Jessica McVary, Mid-County master plan supervisor, Montgomery Planning Department; Nkosi Yearwood, planner coordinator, Mid-County, Montgomery Planning Department; and Patrick Reed, planner coordinator, Mid-County, Montgomery Planning Department.

The Council staff report can be viewed here.

Bill 9-21, Streets and Roads - Sidewalk Snow Removal – Requirements
Councilmember Evan Glass will introduce Bill 9-21, also known as the Shovel Our Sidewalks Act, which would require the Montgomery County Department of Transportation to clear snow from sidewalks in the County's “equity areas” where narrow sidewalks have significant pedestrian traffic. The goal of this bill is to help improve pedestrian safety. Councilmember Glass is the lead sponsor. Councilmember Hans Riemer, Sidney Katz, Council President Tom Hucker and Councilmember Nancy Navarro are cosponsors. A public hearing is tentatively scheduled for March 16, 2021 at 1:30 p.m.

The Council staff report can be viewed here.

Resolution reaffirming Montgomery County’s commitment to combat hate and extremism
The Council will vote on a resolution sponsored by Councilmember Glass and cosponsored by all Councilmembers, which would reaffirm the County’s commitment to combat hate and extremism. Montgomery County recognizes the value of cultivating an inclusive, safe and just society and culture. The events of January 6, 2021 shocked the nation, and with this proclamation, Montgomery County reaffirms its commitment to root out hatred, political exploitation and mistruths in all political and civil institutions.

The Council staff report can be viewed here.

Appointment to the Board of Appeals
The Council will appoint a new member to the County Board of Appeals (BOA) to fill a partial term resulting from the resignation of its previous member. Three applicants were interviewed by the Council on February 9, 2021. The Board of Appeals hears and decides cases involving certain land use issues, including modifications of special exceptions and variances from development standards or other requirements in the County’s Zoning Ordinance.

The Council staff report can be viewed here.

Appointment to the Charter Review Commission
The Council will appoint a new member for the Charter Review Commission (CRC) to fill a partial term. Two applicants were interviewed by the Council on February 9, 2021. The County Charter is the constitutional framework for County Government, and the Council appoints an 11 member, bi-partisan, Charter Review Commission to study the Charter. The commission must report to the Council in May of every even-numbered year with recommendations for possible Charter revisions. These recommendations may lead to proposed Charter amendments that are voted on by the electorate.

The Council staff report can be viewed here.

Expedited Bill 8-21, Administration - Department of Technology Services – Renamed
Council President Hucker, at the request of the County Executive, will introduce Bill 8-21, which would change the name of the Department of Technology Services to the Department of Technology and Enterprise Business Solutions. A public hearing is tentatively scheduled for March 16, 2021 at 1:30 p.m.

The Council staff report can be viewed here.

Expedited Bill 1-21, Growth and Infrastructure Policy - Renamed -Expedited Development Approval Excise Tax – Repealed
The Council is scheduled to vote on Expedited Bill 1-21 which would rename the Subdivision Staging Policy the Growth and Infrastructure Policy; repeal the Expedited Development Approval Excise Tax; and generally amend the law governing the County Growth and Infrastructure Policy.

Last November, the Council decided to rename the Subdivision Staging Policy the Growth and Infrastructure Policy. In addition, while preparing Bill 1-21, Council staff noticed that the Expedited Development Approval Excise Tax provisions remain in the County Code despite the Council’s decision to eliminate the Alternative Review Procedure for Expedited Development Approval from the Subdivision Staging Policy more than 10 years ago. The Department of Finance and the Planning Board staff each confirmed that there are no open developments that were approved under this process and that the County has not collected this excise tax in recent years. Both Finance and the Planning Board staff agreed that these provisions of the County Code are obsolete and should be repealed, which Bill 1-21 does.

The Council staff report can be viewed here.

Resolution to approve Supplemental Appropriation to the FY21 Operating Budget Montgomery County Government Non-Departmental Account Compensation and Employee Benefit Adjustments, $3,752,889
Council President Hucker, at the request of the County Executive, will introduce a supplemental appropriation to fund agreements for fiscal year 2021 pay adjustments with the County’s three employee bargaining units and most non-represented employees. The agreements would also end the COVID pay differential effective February 14, 2021. The County Executive estimates that this will reduce projected fiscal year 2021 expenditures by $35 million compared to continuing the COVID pay differential unchanged through the end of the fiscal year.

The Council staff report can be viewed here.

Adoption of the Comprehensive Solid Waste Management Plan 2020-2029
The Council will introduce the Comprehensive Solid Waste Management Plan 2020 – 2029 at the request of the County Executive. Pursuant to Sections 9-503 and 9-515 of the Environment Article of the Annotated Code of Maryland, the governing body of each County is required to adopt and submit to the Maryland Department of the Environment (MDE) a ten-year plan dealing with solid waste disposal systems, solid waste acceptance facilities, and the systematic collection and disposal of solid waste. The Environment Article further requires each County to review its solid waste management plan at least every three years. The current plan (2012 – 2023) was approved by the Council in March 2015. A public hearing is scheduled for March 16, 2021 at 1:30 pm.

The Council staff report can be viewed here.

#SolidWaste is being used for this topic on social media.

FY20 National Pollution Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System (MS4) Permit Financial Assurance Plan
The Council will introduce the Financial Assurance Plan (FAP) to meet the Requirements of the National Pollution Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System (MS4) Permit. On February 11, 2021 the County Executive transmitted his recommended FY20 plan. Each NPDES Phase I MS4 jurisdiction must submit a FAP to the Maryland Department of the Environment (MDE) every two years. The County submitted its FY18 FAP in February 2019. The Montgomery County Department of Environmental Protection completed the FY20 FAP based on the Approved FY21 Operating Budget and the Approved and Amended FY21-26 Capital Improvements Program. A public hearing is scheduled for March 9, 2021 at 1:30 p.m.

The Council staff report can be viewed here.

#NPDESPermit is being used for this topic on social media.

Proposed Revisions to Bethesda Urban Partnership (BUP) Bylaws
The Council will introduce a resolution proposing the enactment of amendments to the Bethesda Urban Partnership’s (BUP) bylaws. The amendments to the bylaws cover a range of issues including BUP’s adherence to the State Open Meetings Act, processes and procedures of board meetings, the procedures for the removal of board members, as well as BUP’s ethics and procurement practices. All the amendments are in conformance with the County Code. A public hearing for action is scheduled for March 2, 2021 at 1:30 p.m.

The Council staff report can be viewed here.

#BUP and #UrbanDistricts are being used for this topic on social media.

Declaration of No Further Need - Disposition of Halpine View Real Property
The Council will introduce a Declaration of No Further Need for the Halpine View Real Property, which is located along Twinbrook Parkway in Rockville. The County Executive has proposed to transfer the County-owned property (originally acquired in 1964) totaling 1.99 acres (known as the “Aspen Hill Extension” and also referred to as the “Halpine View Real Property”) to a private developer, Halpine Park LLC, for the purposes of constructing housing, including affordable housing. A joint GO/PHED Committee work session is tentatively scheduled for March 25, 2021. A public hearing is scheduled for March 16, 2021.

The Council staff report can be viewed here.

Transfer of Unexpended Project Balance within the FY21 Capital Budget and Amendment to the FY21-26 Capital Improvements Program, Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS) - $3,182,226 to MCPS Local Unliquidated Surplus Account
The Council will introduce an amendment to the MCPS FY21-26 CIP Current Revitalization/Expansion project and a related transfer within the FY21 Capital Budget to the MCPS Local Unliquidated Surplus Account. On February 18, the Board of Education (BOE) requested a transfer of $3,182,226 from the current revitalization/expansion project to the MCPS Local Unliquidated Surplus Account. The transfer request requires an amendment to the FY21-26 CIP Current Revitalization/Expansions. A public hearing is scheduled for March 16, 2021.

The Council staff report can be viewed here.

Transfer of Unexpended Project Balance within the FY21 Capital Budget and Amendments to the FY21-16 CIP, MCPS - $3,182,226 to Gaithersburg Cluster Elementary School #8
The Council will introduce an amendment to the MCPS FY21-26 CIP Gaithersburg Cluster Elementary School #8 project and a related transfer within the FY21 Capital Budget from the MCPS Local Unliquidated Surplus Account. The transfer request is to fund an increase to the guaranteed maximum price contract awarded to Skanska USA Building, Inc. for the construction of the new Gaithersburg Cluster Elementary School #8. The new school addresses overutilization at the elementary school level in the Gaithersburg Cluster. Additional related Board of Education approved overutilization solutions included improvements to the existing Gaithersburg Elementary School and the construction of two, eight classroom modular buildings at Summit Hall Elementary School. A public hearing is scheduled for March 16, 2021.

The Council staff report can be viewed here.

OLO Report 2021-3, Workforce Development Systems and Performance Measures
This Office of Legislative Oversight (OLO) report summarizes research on workforce development systems and provides examples of the types of indicators and outcome frameworks used to track outcomes for supply side and demand driven workforce development systems. It also summarizes research for sector partnership programs. The research finds the most successful programs are employer-led; they embed career pathways; and their career advancement efforts offer long term training and extensive supports. OLO Report 2021-3 will be available online at:
http://www.montgomerycountymd.gov/OLO/ Reports/CurrentOLOReports.html after the Council votes to release the report on February 23, 2021.

The Council staff report can be viewed here.

Resolution to extend time until December 31, 2021, for Council action on Bill 37-19, Economic Development Fund - Use of Fund and Remedies for Noncompliance, the “Oversight and Small Business Investment Act”
The Council is scheduled to review and vote on an extension request of Bill 37-19 by its lead sponsor, Councilmember Glass, who asks to extend the expiration date from June 3, 2021 to December 31, 2021. The bill’s cosponsors are Councilmembers Hans Riemer and Will Jawando. Bill 37-19 requires recipients of Economic Development Fund (EDF) assistance to agree to certain terms and conditions regarding the use and repayment of the assistance. The bill also does the following:

  • alters eligibility requirements for the Small Business Innovation Research and Small Business Technology Transfer Matching Grants;
  • requires the repayment to the County of Small Business Innovation Research and Small Business Technology Transfer Matching Grants in certain circumstances;
  • imposes remedies related to the provision of false or fraudulent applications and the use of Fund assistance for unauthorized purposes; and
  • generally amends the law related to the Economic Development Fund.

The goal of this legislation is to increase accountability in the use of grant funds and to expand eligibility for the Small Business Innovation Research and Small Business Technology transfer matching grant. The EDF assists private employers who are located, plan to locate or substantially expand operations in the County. Each program under the EDF is administered by the Department of Finance.

The Council staff report can be viewed here.

#EconomicDevelopmentAssistance is being used for this bill on social media.

Special appropriation to MCPS’ FY21 Operating Budget - $750,000 for Restorative Justice Training for School Staff
The Council is scheduled to vote on a resolution to the FY21 Operating Budget for Montgomery County Public Schools for $750,000 to provide restorative justice training to school staff. Councilmembers Jawando and Riemer are lead sponsors and initiated the special appropriation as part of a package of appropriations and legislation to invest in student supports and restorative justice while prohibiting the Montgomery County Police Department from placing School Resource Officers (SROs) in school buildings. Each legislative item is being reviewed by the Council separately.

The Council staff report can be viewed here.

Proposed Amendments to the Ten-Year Comprehensive Water Supply and Sewerage Systems Plan: Six Category Change Requests
The Council will review and take straw votes on each of the six water and sewer category change requests sent by the County Executive. In reviewing these requests, the Council can approve, conditionally approve, defer or deny the requests.

The recommendations for each change request can be found here in the Council staff report.

#WaterandSewerPlan is being used for this bill on social media.

Zoning Text Amendment (ZTA) 20-01, Solar Collection System - AR Zone
Standards
The Council is scheduled to vote on ZTA 20-01, originally sponsored by Councilmember Riemer and Council President Hucker and cosponsored by Councilmember Rice. As introduced, the bill would revise the Solar Collection System use standards to allow larger facilities in the Agricultural Reserve (AR) Zone. Solar panels are currently only allowed in the AR Zone as an accessory use; the Zoning Ordinance defines that as a facility that produces no more than 120 percent of on-site electrical needs.

Joint meetings of the Planning, Housing and Economic Development and Transportation and Environment Committees resulted in a recommendation to approve ZTA 20-01 with amendments. The joint committee amendments primarily specify additional environmental protection standards and allow for a different type of agriculture under solar panels.

At the Council’s Jan. 26 worksession, by a straw vote of 6 to 3, amendments were made to the zoning text amendment to do the following: prohibit the use on Soil Classification II soils (in addition to Soil classification I soils as recommended by the joint committee); require conditional use approval (including the use-specific standards required for site plan approval); and require that the Planning Department produce an impact report no later than Dec. 31, 2023. These amendments reduce the land area that can be used for solar panels from the original zoning measure.

The Council staff report can be viewed here.

#solar collection, #solar panels, and #AR zone are being used for this bill on social media.

The following public hearings will be held at 1:30 p.m.:

Shady Grove Sector Plan Minor Master Plan Amendment
The Council will receive public testimony on the Planning Board Draft of the Shady Grove Sector Plan Minor Master Plan Amendment. PHED Committee work sessions are tentatively scheduled for March 1 and March 15, 2021. More information on this plan can be found toward the top of this document. The Council staff report can be viewed here.

Bill 3-21, Special Taxing Area Laws - Silver Spring Business Improvement District - Established
The Council will receive public testimony on Bill 3-21, which would establish a business improvement district in Silver Spring, establish guidelines for the District and authorize a district corporation to manage the District, and authorize a tax on nonexempt property located in the District to finance the operations of the district corporation. Councilmember Riemer and Council President Hucker are the lead sponsors. Councilmembers Friedson, Katz, Navarro and Rice are cosponsors. The Council staff report can be viewed here.

Bill 6-21, Finance - Revenue Estimating Group - Established
The Council will receive public testimony on Bill 6-21, which would establish a Revenue Estimating Group to review and forecast County revenues and provide for membership and duties of the Group. The objective of this measure is to increase the accuracy and usefulness of revenue projections. Councilmember Friedson is the lead sponsor and Councilmembers Navarro and Katz are cosponsors. The Council staff report can be viewed here.

Supplemental Appropriation to the County Government’s FY21 Operating Budget, Office of the County Executive - $1,500,000 for Support for COVID-19 Response - Small Business Rental Assistance
The Council will receive public testimony on this appropriation meant to support small businesses impacted by COVID-19, and specifically to assist with back rent payments or current rent payments. Through this grant, eligible businesses may receive up to $10,000 or three-months’ rent. Councilmember Jawando is the lead sponsor of this appropriation and supports priority considerations for minority- and women-owned businesses, and to businesses that lease space in zip codes that have experienced the greatest impact from the pandemic based on number of cases.

The Council staff report can be viewed here.

Supplemental Appropriation to the County Government’s FY21 Operating Budget, Department of Transportation (DOT) - $30,167,124 for Maryland Department of Transportation (MDOT) Transportation Assistance Grants
The Council will receive public testimony and vote on this supplemental appropriation, which is needed to authorize the expenditure of federal funds received through the CARES Act. This appropriation will provide funds to pay for operating costs of Ride On related to the prevention, preparation for, and response to COVID-19. Federal aid is the source of funding for this appropriation.

The Council staff report can be viewed here.

#transit is being used for this bill on social media.

Special Appropriation to the County Government’s FY21 Operating Budget, Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) - $31,405,652 for rental and utility assistance
The Council will receive public testimony and is scheduled to vote on a $31,405,652 special appropriation, which was recommended by the County Executive to aid residents who have faced a loss of income due to the pandemic, and who are in need of assistance in paying rent and utilities. This funding would be made available through a U.S. Treasury grant.

The Council staff report can be viewed here.

#PreventEviction is being used for this bill on social media.


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Release ID: 21-063
Media Contact: Sonya Healy 240-777-7926 , Juan Jovel 240-777-7931